Wood: When the Red Sox pitchers didn't bat ninth
From SABR member Allan Wood at the Hardball Times on February 7, 2013:
In 1952 and 1953, Red Sox manager Lou Boudreau experimented in a handful of games by moving his pitcher out of the ninth spot in the Boston batting order. In 14 of 18 games, the Red Sox pitcher batted sixth:
1952 Pitcher BOP April 15 Mel Parnell 7th May 10 Mickey McDermott 8th May 11 Mel Parnell 8th July 27 (G2) Willard Nixon 6th July 30 Dick Brodowski 6th July 31 Ralph Brickner 6th August 7 (G2) Willard Nixon 6th August 9 Mel Parnell 6th August 11 Sid Hudson 6th 1953 Pitcher BOP May 30 (G1) Mickey McDermott 6th May 30 (G2) Willard Nixon 6th August 22 Mickey McDermott 6th August 23 Mel Parnell 6th August 28 Bill Henry 6th August 29 Mel Parnell 6th August 30 (G1) Hal Brown 7th August 31 Mickey McDermott 6th September 1 Willard Nixon 6th
The main pitchers were Parnell (five times), Nixon (four) and McDermott (four). Brodowski, Brickner, Hudson, Henry and Brown each did it once.
Those 18 games are the only times in Red Sox history—since Babe Ruth batted in the cleanup spot in 1919—that a Boston pitcher has hit any place other than ninth. (In fact, Ruth is the only pitcher to bat No. 4 for any team in at least 97 years (Baseball Reference has data from 1916-2012). Ruth batted cleanup for the Red Sox 11 times in 1918 and 12 times in 1919.)
Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/when-the-red-sox-pitchers-didnt-bat-ninth/
This page was last updated February 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm MST.